- Looking out at the world today, who do you consider the peacemakers? What is it about them that drives that?
- “No one has ever been converted by violence,” writes Jim Forest. It is interesting that Isaiah’s prophecy talks about the Kingdom of God being a place of plowshares and pruning hooks (the tools of growth and cultivation) rather than swords and spears (the tools of violence). Why do we humans so often revert to violence? What is at the root of violence, do you think? Do you think God ever endorses violence?
- God specializes in turning weapons of hate into instruments of peace. Jeff mentioned how even things like mustard gas developed during the first World War became one of the original chemotherapy drugs. God can do the same thing in us. What are the “swords and spears” in your life? (i.e. mean streak? Angry outbursts? Cutting tongue?) How have you seen God transform them into tools for peace? What work still needs to be done in you in that transformation?
- Jesus says that we are blessed when we work for peace and wholeness—in fact, when we do we are called God’s children. Where is God calling YOU to work for peace and wholeness in this world? Where is God calling you to be the plowshare and pruning hook in the midst of hatred and fear?
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